City Spirits

THE SPIRITS

Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, believed in the living being able to talk to the dead.
Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, believed in the living being able to talk to the dead. | Source
Arthur Conan Doyle believed in the afterlife.
Arthur Conan Doyle believed in the afterlife. | Source
The First World War prompted new interest in spiritualism.
The First World War prompted new interest in spiritualism. | Source
It was not always possible to bury World War One dead. Sometimes there just wasn't enough left to do so.
It was not always possible to bury World War One dead. Sometimes there just wasn't enough left to do so. | Source
The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead. | Source
Lion's head, town hall, Sydney,
Lion's head, town hall, Sydney, | Source
Lion's head, town hall, Sydney.
Lion's head, town hall, Sydney. | Source
Platform 24, Central, Sydney
Platform 24, Central, Sydney | Source
Becoming a spirit
Becoming a spirit | Source
In Nordic tradition the spirit leaves the body in butterfly form.
In Nordic tradition the spirit leaves the body in butterfly form. | Source
SPIRIT
SPIRIT | Source
Wandering spirit.
Wandering spirit. | Source
There are said to be spirits of the dead that call to the living.
There are said to be spirits of the dead that call to the living. | Source
Night to Dawn deals with the spirit world.
Night to Dawn deals with the spirit world. | Source
There are ghosts in  DESK JOB By Rod Marsden
There are ghosts in DESK JOB By Rod Marsden | Source

THE WANDERING DEAD

Much has been made of late about the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.

There have been movies as well as two successful television shows, one British and the other American. It may seem curious to readers and watchers of Sherlock Holmes that the original author, Arthur Conan Doyle, had a spiritual as well as a practical side.

In his own biography Doyle does state, not only an interest in the possibility of the living being able to communicate with the dead, but a genuine belief that it was indeed something that could be done in his own time.

Doyle believed that there were people with the aptitude to get in touch with those who have crossed over. He was also aware of fakes, people pretending to have such an ability.

After the First World War there were many people looking for closure. Doyle was one of them. Men blown apart on the battlefield were without bodies to bury. Hence it was difficult for the loved ones of some of the then newly dead to move on with their own lives. It was thought that being able to say farewell would help.

Unfortunately for Doyle, as far as we know, he never did find someone who could truly connect him with those who have crossed over.

The recent American television show The Walking Dead has captured what it would be like if reanimated corpses out to eat the living really were a growing menace in our world.

The idea of the walking dead as a problem that has to be dealt with, however, dates back to at least the 1930s. It is touched upon in the movie Things to Come which was scripted by H. G. Wells and based upon one of his novel concerning a possible future for humanity.

In the television show The Walking Dead it is not known in the first couple of seasons of the show what exactly happened to create the creatures that menace. In Things to Come the creatures are an offshoot of a war that has gone on for far too long.

Most cities in our world have their stories of wandering spirits. There are stories connected with the Bloody Tower in London and the London bridge that collapsed.

There are places in England where, at certain times of the year, phantom battles are waged between armies of round-heads and cavaliers.

There are also places were phantom Romans march across phantom Roman roads.

In some parts of the world, especially in East Asia, miniature homes are made for the spirits to live in so that they will not enter the abodes of the living. Also it is believed that the dead feed on pleasant odors and these, too, are provided.

In Europe it is thought to be inviting trouble to bury anyone near a crossroads. It is thought that the spirit of the dead person might get confused as to what direction to walk in and they wander about aimlessly rather than find their way to the afterlife.

In New York there are stories connected to the old slave trade. Apparently before New Yorkers gave up slavery they were rather brutal to their slaves. They were in fact more cruel than those into slavery down south.

When New Yorkers reformed and the owning of slaves was no longer considered the right thing to do the slave owners, generally speaking, did not free their slaves but sent them south into further captivity.

New South Wales, Australia and in particular its major city, Sydney, also have their fair share of ghost tales.

Just imagine a swimming pool just for the dead. There is one at Ramsgate, in NSW, Australia south of Sydney.

At Bathurst, also in NSW only in the heart of sheep country, there are trees that were once used for the hanging of criminals. They are said to be haunted.

At an old hotel near the train station at Bathurst a pregnant woman was stabbed to death and her money stolen. This was in the days of coach and horse travel. Legend has it the woman still haunts the hotel at night looking for her money and also her killer.

The dead inhabit old cemeteries. Cities tend to re-invent themselves over time and so old cemeteries can become something else.

Central Station, Sydney, NSW is based on an old cemetery. For the most part the living have forgotten but the dead remember. Platform 24 and 25 are a favorite haunt. Back when the tunnels were made coffins were unearthed.

The town hall in Sydney is based on an even older cemetery. A cemetery dating back to the days of the convicts. There is still a place of worship near the town hall. Behind it there was once a hospital.

After the summer of 1969-1970 Ramsgate Baths was pulled down. Built in the 1920s, It was a marvelous place to go in summer. I still remember the swimming, the laughter, the strange arcade with the fortune teller machine and the distorting mirrors. The fortune teller machine was of a similar make to the fortune teller machine in the American movie, BIG. There was a shop where you could buy the most wonderful banana fritters rolled in icing sugar. Some mention of this place is made in my novel, Ghost Dance (smashwords).

Ramsgate Baths helped a lot of people to find a reason to live during the Great Depression. It was a family place but also a place where a fellow could take his girlfriend. It was the closest thing to Luna Park in the south and, during its hey day, had many visitors.

For the most part, the living have forgotten the old Ramsgate Baths but the soul of the old baths remains. It is where the spirits holiday. Nothing good should ever vanish completely while we the living as well as the dead can remember.

The old Ramsgate Baths continue as phantom baths while there are spirits around that do remember.

All this is part of the not so lively but thoroughly interesting history and present times of NSW, Australia.

Check out my novels Disco Evil and Ghost Dance for a truly haunting time. Available through Amazon USA. Also look for me on Smashwords.

Also there is now my new novel, Desk Job, to consider in terms of the spirits of the dead. In this new novel we learn about the ghosts of the south coast of NSW and visit at least one fun spot for a particular newly made dead person.

The ghosts in Desk Job are not all serious. Some are actually quite mischievous with a somewhat warped sense of humor.


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Comments 6 comments

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

As a Melbournite who loves Sydney, I thank you for telling this. I did not know about this aspect of the old city.

It is much appreciated by this Aussie to learn something new (to me) about this beautiful city

"The Pearl of the east" as it is known in Malaysia and throughout Oceania, Sydney is magnificent!


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 6 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

Thanks. Melbourne is also quite a city.


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 5 years ago from Wisconsin

An interesting hub!

The dead never forget. Around this neck of the woods we have Native American burial grounds and there is a lot of paranormal activity around them. We have a place on our farm called the 4 corners. Whenever you go into this area, you feel dreamlike and sleepy, and hours can pass by and it feels just like minutes. If you try to drive your vehicle through the area it simply kills.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

Thanks magnoliazz. I like what you have added to this hub.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

Voted up and awesome, Rod! I love hearing about other haunted cities in the world and I didn't realize that Australia had such haunted spots, as well...but that would make sense. I might even look up your books that you mentioned here. Have you had much success with smashwords?


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

Thanks kitty. I have had some success with smashwords. They appear to be a great outfit.

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